Hell Baby (R)
For their feature directorial debut, co-writers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon find the somewhat tasteful middle ground between their rock-solid reputations as co-creators of The State and Reno! 911 and the industry-friendliness they showed on the Night at the Museum films and family hits like Herbie: Fully Loaded. Hell Baby stars Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb as an expectant couple who move into a cursed New Orleans fixer-upper. Before long, strange things happen in the house and in the womb, so the couple fights back with the help of a nosy neighbor (Keegan-Michael Key) and the mother-to-be's sister, played by buzzy alt-comedian Riki Lindhome with full-frontal fearlessness. The film is slow to start but picks up steam once priests and cops alike descend on their house, where a demon newborn, complete with tail and horns, is about to arrive. Thanks to a raucous, hot-potato climax, Hell Baby (forgive us) delivers. — Justin Strout
When Sylvester Stallone's son Sage died recently, it was a shock to many people, but probably none more so than those in underground film circles. As one of the founders of the seminal film-reissue company Grindhouse Releasing, he was a notable figure who respected all things genre film. Sage was also an accomplished filmmaker, with the short film Vic being his crowning achievement. In a 30-minute masterpiece of purely devastating pathos, Clu Gulager stars as Vic Reeves, an aged actor whom Hollywood has forgotten, eking out a meager existence by taking cameo roles in gory B-movies. When the chance for a big comeback arrives, he comes to terms with his unwanted existence at the most inopportune time. It's a heartbreaking glimpse into the life of a man who you want to see succeed, even in the face of these harsh realities. Judging from a haunting film like this, Stallone truly could've been the next John Cassavetes. — Louis Fowler
The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (NR)
Brit-poppers the Stone Roses made two brilliant albums in the early '90s and were hailed as everything from the next big thing to the second coming of the Beatles. Unfortunately, the band imploded and wound up relegated to the cut-out bin of history. While they were never that popular over here, in Britain fans held out hope that the gang would eventually re-form, if only for one big blow-out. In 2012, that's exactly what happened. Director Shane Meadows captures this resurrection with such an artistic fan's eye that it's impossible to not draw comparisons to the classic U2 rockumentary, Rattle & Hum. And why not? Both films not only deliver amazing performance sequences, but fantastic fly-on-the-wall set-pieces that go deeper into the creative process than most fluff-filled, flash-in-the-pan concert movies do. You listening, Biebs? — Louis Fowler
So proud of you Catherine!!! I knew you could do it!!!
I read an early draft of Ghostland in 2014 that was written by Jon Orr…